Happy clients

It's always lovely to hear positive feedback from clients, and happy brides can be particularly effusive.  There is an area of my website, under 'Weddings', entitled 'Happy couples', dedicated to these delightful messages. I was thrilled, then, to receive a 12-page newspaper in the post this week, from a happy couple, featuring not one or two, but HUNDREDS of their wedding pictures, along with a charming covering note.

They designed it themselves, had it printed and circulated it amongst all their family and friends as a memorable thank you for their support on the day.

The newsprint medium means the colour reproduction isn't 100% accurate, but it looks fantastic nontheless, and the layout and picture selection really capture the mood of the day.

It's rare to see so many pictures laid out next to one another in one place, but the collage effect works brilliantly.

Their civil ceremony and reception were held under one roof at the gorgeous Cripps Stone Barn, which is in a magically isolated spot, set amid rolling Cotswold countryside.  The total seclusion and privacy, not to mention top-notch service and fabulous catering, meant that all 120 guests really got into the spirit of the day.

It was, more than most, a day filled with laughter, and tears, enormous emotional highs, and a number of more reflective, sentimental moments.

Seeing the pictures again - hundreds of moments, funny, euphoric and sad, captured forever - reminds me how lucky I am to have such amazing clients, and how privileged I am to bear witness to days like this.

Capturing emotions

One of the many enjoyable things about photographing weddings is the opportunity to capture a wide range of emotions over the course of the day. Every wedding day has its share of tears and laughter (and every other emotion in between).

I make it my business to try to record them all, as, unlike the obvious things such as the dress, flowers and cake, these fleeting emotional highs and lows are so quickly forgotten, lost in the blur of the day, and these are the memories my clients tell me they value above all others.

A recent wedding I photographed at Nonsuch Mansion in Surrey serves as a case in point.  I've picked out a selection of 42 pictures of the bride, taken over an eight hour period, but what a huge range of moods on display.

Everything starts calmly as the bride and bridesmaids begin their preparations, bathed in sunshine and three hours to get ready.

Texts from frineds and last minute preparations ratchet up the tension a little

During the hair and makeup phase there is usually a bit of time for reflection.

As the dress goes on there is palpable tension in the room, tempered with excitement, and gasps of delight as the dress is finally revealed

Dad's arm, and the sight of family and friends smiling and waving help to dispel any lingering tension.

Once the ceremony is over, the laughter begins, as everyone rushes to congratulate the happy couple

But there are tears too, in response to a friend's surprise musical tribute.

During the 'happy couple' shoot, away from the hubbub of the reception, the bride and groom can briefly relax together in private and share the moment as newlyweds.

The speeches are a priceless time for a photographer, with tears and laughter in abundance, but it is the bridegroom's words to his new wife that usually produce the most golden moments.

Wedding photography at Hedsor House, Bucks

Hedsor House, in Buckinghamshire must be one of my all-time favourite venues. It is an imposing Italiante villa built in a prominent position, with dramatic views and acres of stunning gardens.

Alex and Melissa were married there in June and here are some of the pictures:

The dressing rooms are beautifully decorated, light and airy, with large windows.

They also afford excellent views of guests arriving

There is a small C of E chapel in the grounds that holds 100 or so at a squeeze

All the interiors are sublime, particularly this extraordinary glass-domed hall, with gallery, which dominates the house.

Wedding workshop

With a slew of weddings in the diary for this summer, I felt it was time for a bit of a refresher course and booked myself onto a workshop with Steve Gerrard, in Birmingham. It was a very worthwhile course, with a morning of presentation and discussion of his work, tips and tricks to get the most out of your gear, smart directions and phrases to get the best out of your clients, and smart methods to run a photography business smoothly.

In the afternoon we had a mock wedding shoot with models Adam and Jade in the grimy badlands of Digbeth.  He proved the point conclusively that it's the quality of the light that's most important, not the quality of the location.

I was intrigued to see Steve using just two prime lenses, the 85mm and 35mm, and choosing to view the screen on the back of his camera in b&w, the better to judge exposure and lighting conditions, without colour distractions.

A really useful day, packed with inspiring advice, highly recommended.

Here are some of my results from the shoot, using my 85mm and 16-35mm, processed using VSCO Film.

Marc & Marie's wedding, Corsley Manor

I was lucky enough to be invited to shoot Marc and Marie's July wedding at Corsley Manor in Wiltshire.  It's a beautiful location and the church is just 50 yards from the house and gardens.

Marc and his ushers were getting ready in typically chaotic male fashion.

Marc scrubbed up OK in his spanking new Jaeger suit

Marie had chosen a dress from Cymbeline.  Stunning.

And some seriously bling Jimmys

Marie had chosen eight bridesmaids.  And why not?  There was masses of room in the master bedroom for them all to get ready together.

The bridesmaids' shoes were a sight to behold.

Quick, into the dress!

Ooh ooh guests arriving!

How do I look?

Mum is suitably impressed.  It's always a magical moment when parents see their little darlings all set and ready to walk up the aisle.

The entourage on the move

As the bride approaches, Marc is one big grin.

During the vows, the sun came out and flooded the church with gorgeous light.

Confetti, backlit by bright sunslight?  And a flag of St. George?  Yes please.

The detailing was beautiful - lots of flowers, and charming vintage deliciousness.

Here come the girls

Not to be outdone, the boys put in some serious posing

While the guests got stuck into the champagne, the newlyweds took a short walk in the gardens.  I was invited.

Wildflower meadows made for a stunning backdrop.

In the marquee, the vintage flourishes abounded.

Could they look any happier?

After the starter, the bride and groom retreated for a frolic in a treehouse.  All wedding receptions should include a treehouse, by law.

The Best Man's speech included a multimedia presentation, featuring some delightful portraits of Marc and his enthusiastic partying techniques.

There's nothing quite like 15 minutes of public humiliation on your wedding day.

After dinner the sun came out in force and everyone was pretty relaxed.

There was a trampoline.  They didn't need asking twice.

Sometimes I think I have the best job in the world.

The Best man had made the wedding cake.  An M&M cake.  Marie and Marc....see what he did there?

Anyway, about a million M&Ms were involved.  Painstakingly stuck on by hand.  Good work.

The first dance was followed by...

...some very enthusiastic drinking....


...and posing.


Details of my wedding photography services are available on my website:  www.rorylindsay.co.uk